Origin of county name: after Captain Daniel C. Davis of`the Mormon Battalion; Principal cities/towns: Layton (41,784), Bountiful (36,659), Clearfield (21,435), Kaysville (13,961), Centerville (11,500); Economy: defense industry, small manufacturing and distribution, service industries, agriculture (especially alfalfa, grain, onions, and fruit); Points of interest: Antelope Island, Farmington Canyon, Lagoon and Pioneer Village, Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, Howard Slough Waterfowl Management Area, Freeport Center, Hill Air Force Base, Bountiful-Davis Art Center, Farmington Rock Chapel.
The dominant geographical features of Davis County are the Wasatch Mountains on the east and the Great Salt Lake on the west. The mountains provide a source of water and help ensure a remarkably uniform growing season. Not surprisingly, Davis County has always been a rich agricultural area. It was attractive to people even before the time of permanent white settlement. In fact, Davis County has been home to every distinct culture group in Utah's prehistory, from the Paleo-Indian big game hunters of 12,000 years ago to the Numic-speaking hunter gatherers of the pioneer period.
The county's great agricultural potential was recognized quickly by the Mormon pioneers, and during their first winter in Utah (1847-48) several of them moved livestock into that area for winter forage. By 1850 a number of farms dotted the south half of Davis County. By the 1870s the county was clearly the garden spot of Utah. In addition to producing bounteous harvests and prize-winning livestock, Davis County farmers led out boldly in experimenting with new crops, such as sorghum and alfalfa, new equipment, such as headers and threshers, and new methods, such as dry farming and irrigation management.